When the pandemic first started over a year ago, people were stuck at home for an unknown amount of time. With no way to access their loved ones for events like birthdays, holidays, and more, a new generation of activities was born. What was once an in-person event now was accessible online from anywhere in the world. I remember celebrating my birthday last year with my old company, we all logged into teams just to chat, have a drink, and remember that there were still things to celebrate. That was when I was first introduced to the concept of ‘play from anywhere’. Finchloom is a ‘work from anywhere’ company, and as such, teambuilding exercises are a little different for us.
When I first began working for Finchloom, we had regular company-wide meetings once a week. These meetings consisted of catching up on the latest events in peoples lives, playing different games including trivia and Pictionary, and explaining the wins and losses of the week in terms of deals, sales, and innovations. Microsoft Teams is not only a pristine collaboration platform for work, but additionally provides unthought of uses for teambuilding and customer outreach.
Microsoft Teams Games
Any game that can be played either on a computer or on a piece of paper can be played with others through Microsoft Teams. A few weeks ago, we had a company wide Kahoot trivia game that consisted of knowing the products we offer, the history of Microsoft and the technologies within, as well as some pop culture references. The competition was fierce, but the lighthearted game was so much fun, and I look forward to having another go at the first-place title. Instead of playing against an anonymous crowd, it was great to both see and hear all my colleagues playing live; I would say it got everyone a little more invested in the game as we were all vying for first place, clicking the right answers as fast as we possibly could.
Another idea we had was Pictionary. With the whiteboard feature on teams, it was a breeze to implement. The person drawing shares their screen and chooses the whiteboard feature. Once they say their category (movie, sport, etc.) they start drawing. Coworkers or teams can guess either aloud or in the meeting chat, depending on the size of your business and/or number of people playing. It is a great way to encourage collaboration naturally in a competitive setting.
My favorite game to play is Jackbox. If you have not heard of it, it is basically a suite of games that encompasses anything from trivia to t-shirt design challenges, and everything between. The person who owns the game shares their screen, and all other users can login and play from their phones.
Microsoft Teams Events
Teams is also great for hosting events with people outside of your company. Recently, Finchloom hosted a Taste and Learn event consisting of Azure and PhishPrevent Sessions. A few weeks before the event, we sent out a flight of wine to the individuals who RSVP’d. Between the sessions, a sommelier instructed attendees which wine to open, and gave a little background about its origin, and taste profile. It was a first for Finchloom, and definitely not the last. As I stated before, we are a work from anywhere company with customers around the United States. Events like this (which are powered by Teams) allow us to reach our customers wherever they are, and provide the personal touch that an in-person event would. We are already in the process of planning future events, so if you would like to learn more about the information we will be providing in our future events, please reach out!
Teams events also allow for the use of breakout rooms. Let us say you have an event that has 2 (or more) different informational sessions scheduled at the same time. With Teams, attendees can choose which session they will attend without having to leave the meeting! Once the separate informational sessions are complete, everyone is brought back together, and the event can move forward.
Microsoft Teams Apps
Within Teams you can install a variety of apps to manage your employees’ timecards, create forms, polls, and surveys, report issues, and more! There are hundreds of apps for anything from increasing productivity to providing kudos to fellow employees, and even apps that allow employees to make recommendations to the company. If you need an app that does not exist, Microsoft Power Apps can help you! Create a simple app in minutes with little to no coding involved. Power Apps uses a code logic like Excel and allows users to implement AI easily and can target specific metrics. You need an app that will give customer recommendations based off previous purchases or what someone has in their cart? No problem, Power Apps can make this process a breeze with the help of AI and targeted learning algorithms, all from within Teams if you so choose to use it that way.
Whether you are trying to manage employees working from home, collaborate with others from across the world, or create new areas of saved productivity, Microsoft Teams is an essential tool for businesses of any size. Contact Finchloom today to learn more about the operational features of Teams, and how when it is put to good use can increase the productivity of employees and save companies heaps of time and money.